Malcom Ridgers is a tech expert at BairesDev specializing in the software outsourcing industry.
Now that your teams have acclimated to working remotely every day during the workweek, they've probably started getting into some semblance of a groove. They might even have increased their productivity to unheard-of levels.
Those teams aren't the only ones who've had to make major adjustments. Your managers have had to adopt new techniques and apply various creative methods of keeping things moving forward. And, of course, their primary task is to manage the teams that help your business run smoothly.
To accomplish that task, your managers need to have the right tools. Fortunately, there are a lot of outstanding software titles, platforms, and services available to make that job considerably easier. It doesn't matter if your company deals in outsourcing software development, or is a large-scale media conglomeration: without some combination of the following tools, the management of your remote teams will be exponentially more difficult.
But what are the tools? Let's take a look at some of the options you have available.
Slack has become the de facto standard tool for team communication and collaboration. Not only does this platform make it easy for your team members to communicate with one another about projects (and other subjects), you can create project-specific channels, allow team members to share files, direct message users, pin posts and follow threads, and even add various extensions to broaden the tool’s functionality.
Without a tool like Slack, team communication will be a challenge, especially if you have team members all over the country, working at different times. And with Slack being cross-platform, you have no worries about whether or not your entire team can make use of the tool. Slack can be installed on Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows, or it can be used via a web browser.
Asana is one of the most popular project management apps on the market. This cloud-based service empowers your team to communicate as well as engage with ongoing projects. Each project can be broken down into tasks, which can then be easily assigned to teams or team members.
For the most part, Asana should be considered a more basic project management tool. That doesn't mean it won't suit your needs but if the standard option doesn't offer enough for your business, you could opt for a Premium account, which adds workflows into the mix to help automate the project lifecycle through the system.
If you're looking for a project management platform that doesn't require careful, patient onboarding of teams, Asana might be the perfect solution.
If Asana doesn't include enough bells and whistles to satisfy your team, there's always Basecamp. Basecamp has been around longer than most tools in this category and offers more than enough features to satisfy even more complicated needs.
Within Basecamp you can employ assignable to-do lists, notes and file attachments, comments, Hill Charts, message boards, schedules, documents and file storage, real-time group chat, check-in questions, client access, direct messages, email forwards, reports, notifications, search, YouTube embeds, and across-project agendas.
Basecamp could very well be your one-stop-shop to meet the majority of your team management needs.
You might require the ability to track and manage team schedules. Although you could probably make do with a simple Google Calendar, why not work with a tool designed specifically to meet the needs of managing remote worker's schedules? That tool is When I Work.
When I Work includes employee scheduling, time tracking, applicant tracking tools, and options for both desktop and mobile platforms. By employing When I Work, managers are better capable of managing and communicating with teams and accounting for shifts and clock-ins. Your teams are also empowered with the ability to submit time-off requests and even collaborate on shift trades. Even better, When I Work is incredibly easy for both managers and team members to use.
Sometimes nothing is more helpful for the management of teams than a good video conference meeting. When you need to pull off such an event, Zoom is the tool for the job. If the pandemic has taught businesses anything, it's the importance of being able to keep some semblance of face-to-face meetings intact, and Zoom has become the de facto standard in this arena.
In fact, Zoom has become so popular, it barely needs an introduction. The platform is the ideal solution for businesses of all sorts. Even outsourcing software development companies, with teams across the globe, can make use of Zoom for video conferencing—so long as certain team members are willing to get up in the middle of the night or way too early in the morning to join in on the fun.
You're going to need to be able to share files with your team members and your team members are going to need the means to share files with one another. One of the easiest methods for this is to employ one of the many cloud-based storage solutions, such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
With either of these tools, your team will have easy means by which to upload, download, and share files with one another. Files can even be commented on, described, searched for, starred, and pinned.
Although you might be tempted to try and get by with the free versions of these tools, the paid versions will be better suited for your needs. Not only will you get better integration with other solutions, but you’ll also get considerably more storage space.
If you manage a team of developers, you'll need to employ a number of different tools, one of them will be a version control system such as GitHub. With GitHub, your team can enjoy collaborative coding, automation & CI/CD, code security, desktop, and mobile apps, project management tools, and a sense of community. As for your managers, you'll add team administration into the mix for the perfect engineering team solution.
With GitHub, you can create project-specific repositories and then assign software engineers to those projects. Those engineers can then make pull requests, modify code, and push their modifications back to the project.
No development team is complete without a tool like GitHub.
If you're looking for the perfect combination of team management tools, you can’t go wrong with anyone of these solutions. You might even find one of these tools can fill all of your needs. If not, chances are pretty good you can get by with two or three. Either way, there are plenty of options available to help take the worry out of remote team management.
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